Thailand & Drive

I have been here so long

FR. John MURRAY, Member of the Order of St Augustine,

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

This week, I have to renew my diver’s license.  Here you are given a license for five years and then you renew it.  I knew what I had to face in getting it and, even after 15 years here, I was stressed facing the prospect of what awaited me – big crowds at a government office where I will find all sorts of bureaucratic adventures.  And what good purpose does it all serve?  As far as I can see, it is primarily about seeing if the applicant can overcome every challenge put in their way.  

Anyway, here goes!


Notice of appointment for getting my new license.

On carefully, but bravely, approaching another exercise in Thai government bureaucracy, I never expected what happened.   Due to Covid-19, a new process was set in place for renewing your driver’s license.  You now had to make an appointment which I did, discovering that the next available appointment is in March next year – four months away.  Wow!  

As I always say here, your life can completely turn around in 24 hours, or much less.  Another way of expressing this was given to me by a Thai parent who has his child preparing for First Penance at the cathedral.  At the last minute, he advised me that he and his family could not come to a planned family meeting within the program.  He asked me if I was not aware of the “Thai surprise”?  The Thai surprise is ever-present.  

Thailand is a funny place.  It shows how imperfect our world is, and thank God it is as it surely, always reminds me that I am not in control.  


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